YAMSEN:SpeciallyMusic has 40 years of experience making music with people with additional needs, and offering support and guidance to those who work with them. Over the years, in response to our members’ needs and abilities, we have established two community choirs for adults and three for school pupils, plus an annual programme of concerts, workshops, events and training that promote inclusive music-making.

Our panel comprises:

Clare Milton-Thompson, Co-Leader of YSM Leeds Accord choirs.  A recently retired teacher working in special schools in West Yorkshire for over 30 years, Clare used music as a vital tool for learning throughout her schools.  She began conducting YSM first children’s choir 15 years ago, and the skills she developed as a classroom teacher have greatly informed her approach to choir leadership.  She continues to sing with choirs and groups in the community.

Diane Paterson, Secretary of YSM, Inclusive Music Team Leader at ArtForms and Conductor of Leeds Youth Choir.  Working first as a secondary school music teacher and then at Drake Music Service, 20 years ago she became a team leader of the Leeds City Council Music Service’s Inclusive Music Team.  She has also been on the YSM Committee for over 20 years and has taken part in the creation and development of our three Accord choirs for children and young people with additional needs.  Diane is co-author of Addressing SEND in the curriculum – Music.

Sophie Thiruchelvam, Co-Leader of YSM Leeds Accord choirs; Conductor of Asmarina Voices (singing project for Women refugee and Aslyum seekers for the West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Cockburn Community choir, and school choirs. Sophie has been working as a peripatetic singing teacher, workshop facilitator and singer in the Leeds area for over fifteen years. During that time she has had the pleasure of teaching children from as young as 9 months old to adults over 80 years to develop their musical skills and understanding.

Joanna Winster, Co-Leader of YSM Adults’ Choirs and Coordinator of Leeds Accord Choirs.  She began work with YSM as a volunteer ten years ago.  Now a team member of ArtForms Inclusive Music Team working in classrooms, and involved with of all the YSM choirs, she has experience making vocal and instrumental music with a broad range of people with additional needs.

Read more at http://www.yamsen.org.uk